August 21, 2011
Last week, all the first-year Hiroshima JETs attended a language camp in Saijo—a smaller area of Higashihiroshima City. Although language camp did not come with typical camp amenities such as canoes or archery targets, it was accompanied by children’s songs and a snazzy plastic kitchen set. The goal of the language camp was to teach JETs vital conversation skills. Each JET was placed in a class based on his or her previous study and knowledge of Japanese: group A being the lowest and E the highest. Obviously, I was placed in group A, also known as—the A-team.
The A-team focused on very basic, but very important situations including giving an introduction, going shopping, asking for directions, calling in sick and ordering food in a restaurant. Honestly, it was quite possibly the most fun I’ve had in a classroom since kindergarten. Here are the members of the A-team decked in stickers labeling the body parts–kata (shoulder), mune (chest), onaka (stomach), atama (head)… you get the point:
My classmates slash fellow JETs were dedicated yet hilarious. At times we were absolutely terrible at pronunciation and understanding. However, our teacher, Ishizawa-san was extraordinarily patient and kind. At the end of the week each class performed a skit and, even though our presentation was the worst—I can confidently say we were the most improved!